Spring is here! Spring is here! The snow is (mostly) melted and the temperature warms in preparation for the renewal of plants, animals and, yes, we humans too! I hear the buzz of bees and I smell the sweet scent of flowers and dirt. I watch the clouds roll by on layers of sunlight and fresh air. I close my eyes and I breathe deeply, and I feel Spring. I feel the lightness and excitement that comes with the renewal of our surroundings.
Just as the flowers bloom fresh and new, Old Ship blooms too; there are four new members just as of last month! With Bring-a-Friend Sunday, on April 13th, comes another opportunity to help nourish Old Ship's growth (let's see if we all can bring a friend, or two!). You may have noticed or heard of the postcards we mailed to a group of select individuals living in Hingham: Another attempt at growth by informing the community of the beauty and essence here at Old Ship. (If you'd like to see a postcard, please let me know and I'll be happy to get one for you!) We're also opening the Nursery during the week to playgroups (get in touch with me for booking and further details, if interested).
These are just a few of the ways we can thrive as a community and, as Spring carries on and the days grow warmer, more opportunities will "grow" with it. I will continue to work on giving Old Ship its best possible chance at this and ask that each one of you do the same; together we can make this Spring feel lavish with many diverse and beautiful blooms!
Community; noun. Defined as a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. Used in a sentence one may say:"The sense of community that organized religion can provide."
Our Old Ship community is growing. We are connecting to our new friends and members, and we are reconnecting to friends and members we've known for years. We are learning what makes each of us unique and how our uniqueness benefits our community as a whole. We make a strong community filled with individual talent, love, humor and intelligence.
This bond can be nourished on Sunday's when we worship together as we sit in our seats, surrounding each other with song and meditation--but it also needs time //outside// of Old Ships comforting walls to grow and connect.
Importance of Being a Member
"It does not make you into a Unitarian Universalist by the mere fact of joining; you become one by the slow process of thought and life-experience. But it does stand as a symbol of your commitment to a liberal, inclusive, reasoned, and contemporary approach to life. It enables you to take part in the democratic ordering of the policies of our congregation. It strengthens our voice and our work in a world where illiberal forces are powerfully organized. And it brings you into full participation in the life of fellowship we find richly rewarding." - Philip Hewett
Old Ship is the place that nurtures us spiritually. We find others to journey with us in our quest for meaning & spiritual growth. Together, we are working for our community, our world, our future.
Church Involvement is Important!
One of the most important facets of membership in our congregation is giving of oneself. At Old Ship it means participating in a world of opportunities that can enrich your social, spiritual, and community life. Ours is a cooperative environment; one that thrives when our members share of themselves, and one that cannot function well without many aspects being run by volunteers. Your participation and support are crucial to ensure that our congregation thrives, and is able to sustain itself now and in the future. We ask that you share your time, talents, & financial support to keep Old Ship on course as a vibrant and spiritually enlightening community.
Old Ship needs your financial support to continue to be the place that we care for and that cares for us. Consider the value you place on all that Old Ship offers - inspirational sermons, thought provoking classes, an excellent religious education program for our children, caring, connection & camaraderie. Keep in mind the various worthy causes we support with a portion of our Sunday offering that goes where help is needed most--whether to a local shelter or in response to a global emergency. Additionally, our annual fundraisers such as Merrie Market & May Breakfast are a great way to support Old Ship. Lastly, consider contributing to the various causes we champion. Our members bring to our collective attention many worthy causes that might not make the local news. Please give thought to where you can commit and make a difference.
What does it mean to be a member?
Often, arriving at Unitarian Universalism is just a step in the evolution of one's thinking and convictions. By signing the membership book you are affirming your connection and commitment to Old Ship and to an open minded, reasoned, compassionate, and inclusive approach to life and spirituality. We will offer support and encouragement to you as you develop your own spirituality. We encourage you to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences as we journey together. We ask that you offer your time, energy and financial support in affirming the ideas and values to which we aspire. As a member you will be able to vote and participate in the decision-making process of the church.
What is the difference between a "member" and a "friend"?
Members have signed the membership book, made a financial commitment and are able to vote at the Annual Meeting and hold a position on the Board of Trustees. Although many "friends" are quite active at Old Ship and support the church financially, they have not signed the membership book and are not able to vote or hold a Board of Trustees position.
The congregants of Old Ship are an interesting, well-informed, and inquisitive group. We are open, searching, exploring, and ask many questions that stimulate lively discussions. Participating in some of the Adult Programming at Old Ship is a great way to cement relationships with your fellow members. Along with attending Sunday services as frequently as your circumstances permit, it's a great way to bring Unitarian Universalist principles into your life.
"Here the act of joining rarely signifies an arrival at one's religious destination. Much more often it represents a new departure. It may mean a new departure down your old path. It may mean the charting of a path unknown to you before. In either case, in joining with us a large part of what you are doing is renewing your commitment to yourself, to your own spiritual development . . .
In addition, and just as important, in joining this church you give added strength and energy to it and to all of us who have joined before you. We need you. We need your moral and spiritual support and your financial support as well. We need your thoughts. We need your dreams. This church is no greater than the vitality brought to it by its members." F. Forrester Church
If you'd like to know about being a member at First Parish, Old Ship, please contact our membership coordinator Erin Alix at firstname.lastname@example.org